Larry Grantham was more than Ole Miss star

Published 10:04 am Monday, June 19, 2017

When we heard that former Ole Miss great and lifetime friend Larry Grantham died this past weekend we smiled.

It’s not that Grantham won’t be missed. He will, since men like him don’t come around too often. Grantham was a rock-solid man of faith who earned the time-tested respect of all who knew him.

Battling health problems in recent years, Grantham held closely to his strong Christian faith lifting up those around him more than anything else. And that’s why we smiled since through faith death is not something that our all-time great feared.

On the football field, Grantham’s name lives among Ole Miss legends like Gibbs, Manning and McAllister. And after his stellar Rebel career, Grantham became a star on pro football’s biggest stage, starting for many years for the Jets in New York. He’s still a legend for many there, having helped lead the Jets to a rare Super Bowl.

We also remember him on the sidelines as an Ole Miss football commentator, and trusted his voice.

But Larry’s work on behalf of institutions like Freedom House, a drug and alcohol treatment center, for more than three decades is what’s most inspiring. Grantham stopped drinking alcohol in 1986 after checking himself into a treatment program and the experience led him to become a kind of one-man ministry helping so many others in the years since.

That’s the kind of man we are proud to call a Rebel. Larry Grantham was a star, but it was well beyond the football field where his light shined the brightest.